MATRIX, a changing series of contemporary art exhibitions, introduces the Bay Area community to exceptional work being made internationally, nationally, and locally, creating a rich connection to the current dialogues on contemporary art and demonstrating that the art of this moment is vital, dynamic, and often challenging. Confronting traditional practices of display and encouraging new, open modes of artistic creation, MATRIX provides an experimental framework for an active interchange between the artist, the museum, and the viewer.

MATRIX was created at the Wadsworth Atheneum in 1974 by then-director James Elliot as an experimental pilot project, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. When Elliot became the director at BAMPFA in 1978, he introduced the program to the Bay Area. The series has since presented more than 250 exhibitions at BAMPFA. The MATRIX program has served as a leading model for contemporary exhibition practices, inspiring museums across the country to develop project series of their own, under different names, that spotlight leading contemporary artists.

Over the past forty years, MATRIX has featured artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, James Lee Byars, Sophie Calle, Jay DeFeo, Willem de Kooning, Juan Downey, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Shirin Neshat, Nancy Spero, Cecilia Vicuña, Andy Warhol, and scores of others. More recently, MATRIX has sought to establish a dynamic balance between international, national, and local artists, featuring artists such as Zarouhie Abdalian, Michael Armitage, Geta Brătescu, Will Brown, Cecilia Edefalk, Paz Errázuriz, Nicole Eisenman, Myoko Ito, Anna Maria Maiolino, Otobong Nkanga, Will Rogan, Linda Stark, and John Zurier.

Note: BAMPFA does not accept unsolicited proposals for MATRIX.

Chronological List of MATRIX Exhibitions